The Department of Labor expresses concerns that Google’s employee confidentiality agreements create a “chilling effect” which prevents employees from talking about discrimination. An adjunct professor at Brigham Young University-Idaho is fired after posting her support of LGBT rights on her personal Facebook page. In India, a new movie about the country’s 1975-77 state of emergency is being met with protests and calls for censorship from government officials. And a new twitter account, @DissidentPooh, takes aim at increasingly absurd censorship efforts in China, which recently banned Winnie the Pooh. –James Tager, Free Expression Programs Manager


DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


Google’s Confidentiality Rules Discourage Whistleblowers, U.S. Labor Official Warns
Confidentiality clauses are commonplace in Silicon Valley, ostensibly to protect trade secrets. But critics say the rules are sometimes so extreme they prevent employees from engaging in their legally protected rights to raise concerns about discrimination, sexual harassment, and other labor violations.

Mormon University Instructor Fired After Facebook Post Supporting LGBT Rights
Ruthie Robertson said she wrote the Facebook post in large part to let her LGBT friends know that despite the views of her church and employer, she supports the LGBT community. The apparent repercussions of this decision have halted her career plans.

Lawmaker Who Assaulted Reporter Fights Court-Ordered Fingerprints, Photos
Rep. Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican who pleaded guilty to assaulting a reporter the day before his election, does not want to be treated like a common criminal―for more than a month, he has been quietly fighting a court order requiring him to get fingerprinted and photographed at a local jail.

Trump Slams ‘Dishonest’ Media Over ‘Sick’ Reports of Putin Exchange
President Donald Trump bashed news outlets for covering a previously unreported exchange between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany earlier this month, tweeting “The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest!”


Unfortunate, Ridiculous: Anupam Kher on “Indu Sarkar” Row With Censor Board
Veteran actor and former censor board chief Anupam Kher, who plays a pivotal role in Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Indu Sarkar”—mired in controversy over its political flavor, has described the current scenario of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) as “ridiculous.”

China Censors Winnie-the-Pooh on Social Media
Internet users in China have reported problems posting references to the warmhearted bear of A.A. Milne’s children’s books on social media sites. The apparent reason? Some commenters are using images of Winnie-the-Pooh to suggest that he shows a resemblance to President Xi Jinping.

French Court Refers ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Dispute to Top EU Court
EU judges will have to decide whether Google has to remove certain web search results globally to comply with a previous privacy ruling, after France’s supreme administrative court referred the issue to the top EU court.

China Disrupts WhatsApp Service in Online Clampdown
Following the full block of Facebook and Instagram, was the disruption of WhatsApp. The latest in a long line of big digital services running up against China’s “Great Firewall,” the country’s system of internet filters and controls.

Qatar’s Neighbours Dismiss Emirate’s Response to List of Demands
The demand would mean “Qatar was asked to curtail free expression, hand individual people over to torture, reduce its defence capabilities, go against international law, outsource its foreign policy to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, literally sign an open cheque to the blockading countries to pay an unlimited amount of money described as compensation.”

Indonesia Bans Hard-Line Islamist Group Behind Mass Rallies
The move against the group, Hizbut Tahrir, has been hailed by pluralist Muslim groups as a necessary step for halting the rise of radical Islam. But conservative Muslim organizations and human rights groups criticized the decision as unnecessarily punitive.

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